Executive Director

International Dark-Sky Association
Tucson, Arizona
To be Discussed
November 28 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type
Manager, Other

Higher Talent Executive Search is pleased to partner with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) to search for their new Executive Director who will be based in Tucson, AZ. The ideal candidate will be mission-focused, committed to excellence, and a staunch advocate of the values and policies of the IDA. 

IDA is recognized as a worldwide leading agency committed to promoting exemplary stewardship of the night sky through responsible outdoor lighting and education. Working with diverse partners, the IDA’s mission is “to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.”

Founded in 1988, IDA was the first nonprofit organization calling public attention to light pollution, its environmental impact, and the relative ease with which it can be addressed.  Since then, IDA has worked with the lighting industry, the technical and scientific community, and the public to develop new and innovative tools and approaches for reducing light pollution.  Grounded in evidence-based strategies, IDA’s core programs – International Dark-Sky Places, Fixture Seal of Approval, and Grassroots Engagement – have lead to significant accomplishments in reducing light pollution and mobilizing worldwide change.

Job Description

Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall responsibility for the leadership and delivery of the day-to-day operations of the IDA. Guided by the strategic plan, the Executive Director will be tasked with organizational strategy, financial management, fostering of Board development as appropriate, staff mentoring and management, and guiding philanthropic efforts in support of the execution of IDA's mission.

Specifically, the Executive Director will:

  • With sensitivity to issues of inclusion, provide leadership, vision, oversight and direction for the achievement of IDA's mission through organizational planning in fulfillment of the Strategic Plan.
  • Ensure that IDA's mission and vision are clearly defined and communicated, both internally and externally.
  • Lead and guide fundraising activities with the Board of Directors to develop adequate financial resources for implementing the Strategic Plan.
  • Consistent with the Strategic Plan, provide a coherent and focused design and execution of IDA's programs and systematically evaluate the impact and effectiveness of these programs.
  • Lead the annual budgeting process and ensure strong and disciplined financial management and oversight.
  • Serve as chief spokesperson representing the organization in the community and with the media.
  • Serve as the liaison between Board and staff.
  • In partnership with the Board of Directors, develop relevant governance that supports and enhances Board effectiveness.
  • Ensure that the Board is informed and prepared to enact decisions thoughtfully and deliberatively.
  • Ensure compliance with legal and other nonprofit regulatory obligations.
  • Ensure that personnel and volunteer management complies with legal obligations and policies.

Candidate Qualifications

  • The Executive Director will be an experienced and passionate leader with a thorough working knowledge of conservation and environmental issues, a positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed. The Executive Director will be thoroughly committed to IDA's mission and have proven leadership and fund development experience. Other qualifications include:
  • Advanced degree, with at least five years of senior management experience or a B.A. and at least seven years of senior management experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in nonprofit or related management with fiscal compliance to include successful audits.
  • Ability to collaborate with technical staff and volunteers to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Demonstrated record of (6) six-figure solicitations from public agencies, foundations and major donors.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and commitment to donor stewardship and grant reporting.
  • Demonstrated history of effectively working with a Board to include cultivation, development, and fostering efficiency in smooth governance and fundraising actions.
  • Possess an entrepreneurial capacity, be adaptable, and embrace an innovative approach to internal and external stakeholder engagement.
  • Command excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills with an ability to deliver persuasive positions of IDA's mission to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively.
  • Willingness to work long and often unpredictable hours, including weekends.
  • Demonstrate a strong sense of integrity, an impeccable ethical code of conduct, and an unwavering commitment to transparency and personal financial accountability.

The International Dark-Sky Association has retained Higher Talent, Inc. to manage the recruitment process. Candidates will be identified, screened, interviewed in person and/or by video, will be required to complete a comprehensive background evaluation, and preliminary references will be conducted.

Interested candidates should direct inquiries, resumes, cover letters, and compensation history to:

Mindy Suissa Cohen, President, ms@highertalentinc.com

International Dark-Sky Association is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. We’re an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.